This week it was announced that CBS had granted a license for Star Trek replicas to eFX Collectibles, who also announced their first product will be a Mark IX TNG era Tricorder. TrekMovie spoke exclusively to eFX President Bryan Ono to get more details on that Tricorder and to find out what they have planned next.
eFX takes on Trek
eFX is a new Los Angeles-based company that was founded in 2007, however the team are not new to the business of replicas. Bryan Ono explains that he worked for Master Replicas since they its inception in 2001. As the Strategic Business Leader at MR, Ono oversaw both the Star Wars and Star Trek lines for much of this decade. In 2007 when Master Replicas lost the Star Wars license, Ono left with some others from MR to form eFX, which picked up the Star Wars license and has since been making Stormtrooper helmets, light sabers and more from that galaxy far, far away. Since then, they have also picked up the license for Disney and original series Battlestar Galactica.
eFX Star Wars X-Wing & Stormtrooper helmet
And now that Master Replicas no longer has the Star Trek license, eFX has picked that up as well. The eFX license covers all prop and vehicle replicas for all versions of Star Trek up to the new JJ Abrams Star Trek movie (as we have reported before, the movie license is with Quantum Mechanix).
First thing for eFX – Finishing the Mark IX
The final Star Trek product from Master Replicas was Mark IX TNG movie era Tricorder. TrekMovie had an early review of that item last November and Master Replicas shipped a few out in early 2009, before the company ceased operations, never fulfilling all their back-orders. Ono actually worked on the project before leaving Master Replicas, but felt that the final version "still need tweaking." He decided to make this their first product to "get it right" and to "make sure all those who wanted one can get it." Ono says there are a number of improvements with the eFX version, including matching the color better and making the lights more diffused so the LEDs are not so obvious.
Another big difference is that each Tricorder will come with a plaque signed by the Commander Data himself, Brent Spiner. Another piece of good news is that the price $349, which is lower than the final MR price of $399. The tricorder will come with a stand, however eFX will charge around $29 for an acrylic cover if you want to add that. eFX will start taking pre-orders on September 29th with orders being delivered in late October or Early November. Ono says that one of the goals of his company is to "make collectibles collectible again" and so they are committed to doing no more than 1,000 pieces in a limited run. They will be requiring a deposit of around $75, but there is a money back guarantee. You will be able to order from eFXcollectibles.com as well as Brians Toys, and Toynk.com and other retailers.
Next up – Ships and more props for 2010
But finishing where Master Replicas left of is only the beginning for eFX. According to Ono, he wants to do one new replica each quarter, meaning he is hoping to get four out in 2010. They are currently in development on designs for a number of props and ships including a Wrath of Khan phaser, a TOS era Phaser, and a large scale (28") Klingon Vor’cha Battlecruiser from DS9. Ono notes that these plans are not final and they haven’t got sign offs yet from CBS. No pricing as of yet, but Ono says he hopes to keep the items affordable, and they will also have a payment plan.
According to Ono, eFX works closely with many of the original designers for the ships and props, such as John Eaves, and have access to original source material as well as all the sound files. The goal in the short term is to develop items that were not done by Master Replicas, but they will also do some that MR did if they feel improvements can be made (such as the case of the TOS era phaser).
Klingon Battlecruiser & TWOK Phaser – two items high eFX’s replica to-do list
In addition to the studio scale ship replicas, eFX will also be working on smaller ‘Precision Cast’ replicas of around 10-12", which will be more affordable. Ono says they hope to have two of these smaller ships out in 2010, with the first being the original TOS Enterprise (NCC-1701). They will then move on to other ships in the series, Ono noting "we want to do all the Enterprises, eventually." These will probably coast around $250 and include lights, but no sounds.
More eFX coverage to come at TrekMovie
As eFX finalize plans, TrekMovie will bring more details. We will also be doing a review of the upcoming Mark IX Tricorder.